Digital Smart Homes | We’re a lifestyle technology company. Control4 Home Control & Home Automation, Home Theatre Systems, Surround Sound Systems, Hi-Fi Systems, Whole Home Audio & Video, Lighting and Shading. The Lifestyle Technology Store | Control4, Sonos, Yamaha, Lutron, BDI, Cambridge Audio, Seura TV Mirror, Kef, Wharfedale, Geneva and more.






Introducing several new products to enhance the Control4 experience

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Control4 is excited to introduce the EA Series of Entertainment and Automation Controllers! Representing the next-generation platform for smart home innovation, they feature high-resolution audio, high-performance automation and industry-leading interoperability. The EA Series controllers and an all-new 10” tabletop touch screen are shipping now!
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Downtown Vancouver Penthouse Control4 Home Automation System

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Our starting point for this beautiful, modern and spacious private Penthouse in Downtown Vancouver was to design a robust network as the basis for a reliable private home automation system. A Control4 Home Automation system is seamlessly integrated with all the lighting, music, video, motorized shades, climate control and security, enabling control through a single intuitive interface. Access is provided through a combination of iPads, iPhones and Control4 wireless hand remote controls.
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Control4 Occupancy Simulation Driver - Mockupancy

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The driver will allow us a quick and simple way of providing our clients with realistic lighting occupancy simulation when they are away. It does this by continually 'recording' the day to day lighting activity over a seven day period. When the client is away the driver will 'playback' the lighting events.

It is is very simple to set up on a Control4 system. With the client we simply select which lights and blinds should be included in the playback from the list of all such devices in the home.

The driver will record the levels of all lights and blinds in the project every 15 minutes. During playback changes are randomized over 15 minute periods for best effect. We can even optionally reduce the intensity of lighting during playback to save energy.

Recording and Playback can be initiated in one of three ways.
  • Connect the driver to Control4 keypad buttons to start/stop recording or playback.
  • Use custom programming
  • Connect the driver in Composer any Security System driver. Then playback will commence when the system is armed, and recording will recommence when the system is disarmed.
  • Optionally the driver can also add entertainment to the occupancy simulation mix. The driver can monitor the activity of a cable or satellite receiver in a specified room. During playback the driver will then select a specific channel on the device. An empty house is no longer a quiet house.
Contact us for more information.

Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room

Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Fully Automated Control4 home in Vancovuer. Clean, Modern, Contemporary design. Centralized light switches with only the most strategically located Keypads and Touch screen on the wall keeps this home looking clutter free and user friendly. With so many homes being designed with open spaces, walls become more valuable for hanging art pieces - not banks of light switches. Audio, Video, Network and Control systems are all located in an enclosed horizontal rack cabinet by Salamander Design. Security, Doors, Garage, Gate, Music Zones, TV Zones, Water Fountain, Heat Lamps, Nest Thermostats, CCTV, Intercom, lighting and more are all controlled from an intuitive Control4 interface on the clients iPhone, iPads, MAC's and built in Touch screen.

Five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

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Control4 offers the ultimate in home automation—and so much more—by making the products and systems you already have and use everyday, work together. Learn how home automation can benefit your life in ways you never imagined possible. Below are five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

1. Do you have the right home for automation?
2. Determine what you want to automate
3. You’ll need the help of a professional—and that’s a good thing
4. Evaluate your home network
5. Expect the Unexpected

Download the Advanced Guide which investigates the 5 points in more detail.

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Vancouver West Side Automated Control4 Home Video

Control4 Vancouver West Side Fully Automated Home from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Designed by renowned architect Frits de Vries, built by Natural Balance and fully automated by yours truly, Digital Smart Homes. This Vancovuer home features state of the art Control4 smart home control. In this video we take a closer look at the lighting and audio features of Control4.

Savant vs. Control4 (Savant Smart Host vs. Control4 HC250)

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As an avid installer of smaller home systems and theaters for my clients, I’m finding little value in Savant’s new Smart Host. I have been working with Control4 for a number of years now, and it seems to me that Control4 is still continuing to dominate this space. For comparison purposes, I’ve gathered the below details that I could from the Savant and Control4 websites:

control4-vs-savant

While the Smart Host is boasting more IR, I find that the more IR ports needs are becoming less needed. Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol for IP connected devices has made the world of IP control of Smart TVs, Blu-Rays and media players such as AppleTV super easy to set-up, without the need for cumbersome IR Buds. Even when I do need IR, but don’t want the IR bud, the Control4 Blaster is there to help. For my customers, the On-Screen Display is used often for searching their movie database… often treated as a “coolio” factor with friends.

While Savant’s message about controlling up to 12 rooms is interesting, the HC250 can do the same thing for less money. Depending on the customers, needs, we leveraged keypads, remote controls and the Z2IR device to control multiple zones with a single HC-250.

The HC-250, plus Control4’s new SR-260, creates an awesome solution for entertainment centers and home theaters, at an MSRP that is less than the Smart Host itself. I’m struggling to see the real benefit of Savant’s system. I know they have a great app for use on tablets and smartphone, but I have yet to have a customer that runs their theater without a remote. Savant’s remote is twice as much as the SR-260.

I remember coming across an article last year that really highlighted the HC-250’s capabilities, a white paper by Dennis Burger. I think this article really speaks the unmatched capabilities of the HC-250, especially at a price point that speaks to customers.

Further expanding on this issue of pricing, from my personal experience, I’ve found that programming the Control4 system is way easier than any Savant system and the customer gets a solid, elegant experience with a ton of expandability.

Keeping Your Digital Home Safe and Smart

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With the rise of the “Internet of Things” dominating recent headlines, many consumers have rushed to invest in smart home systems that offer unprecedented options for connectivity. While the IoT opens up numerous possibilities for energy savings, home security and personal convenience, it also has the potential to impinge on the privacy of homes. Read on for tips to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.

Secure Your Wifi - If you’re like many homeowners, you ignore your WiFi router after checking to ensure the Internet is up and running. This could later prove to be a fatal flaw in your home’s overall privacy. Start by checking to see what type of encryption your router is using. If your router doesn’t support WPA2 networks (a more robust security standard), consider investing in a new wireless router. As with other consumer electronics, WiFi routers have become more powerful and less expensive over time. Additionally, WiFi speeds continue to accelerate, so if you’ve purchased a newer computer recently, a new router may make the difference in your safety.

Keep Cameras Away From Prying Eyes - In many instances, products such as webcams and “nanny cams” come automatically configured with inadequate security safeguards. This leaves these devices vulnerable to hacks from almost anyone, even those with a very limited knowledge of technology. For many cameras, the best thing you can do is create a strong  password (‘12345’ and ‘password’ are off limits) that is unique and different from the default. Substituting numbers for words or letters is often a good strategy. If you don’t change your password from the default setting, you leave yourself (and your family) right in a stranger’s line of sight, as one babysitter in Houston found out the hard way.

Privacy Please - Companies hosting important personal and financial data, such as home security giants ADT and Nest, have a crucial responsibility to keep this information secure. But it’s also your responsibility not to recklessly over-share highly private information or leave your devices open for easy access. Never post your Social Security number, account numbers, address, phone numbers or even your full name in publicly accessible sites. Ensure that your smartphone — often the command center for security system and automated device control — is protected by a lock screen at the very minimum. It’s also wise to disable automatic login information or anything else that can be accessed while you’re away. Don’t share any information that could lead to compromising the security of your family and property.

If cyber criminals gain access to your interconnected home systems, they could potentially turn on thermostats or other appliances, increasing your utility bills. Then there’s the more dangerous risk of someone gaining access to your physical property, unlocking doors or breaking in to commit a robbery. And in the case of webcams and baby monitors, there’s the frightening possibility that someone could be gazing into your home without your awareness or consent. President Obama has proposed stronger anti-hacking legislation, which would make hacking-related crimes a felony carrying a minimum three year sentence. However, politicians and tech-experts alike are concerned that the law would do little to protect homeowners in the short term.

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine the security of your home and privacy. While automated home and security systems offer impressive new options for convenience and connectivity, it’s important to be safe and ask questions if you don’t understand how to install or maintain security features. Consider checking out this government website for further reading on the subject, and don’t forget to logout when you’re done!

By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Eckhart (Find her on twitter @elizeckhart)

Not every home on the block is a Smart Home... Yet!

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A survey done by the ERA Real Estate (ERARE) and HGTV is revealing the phenomenal potential of smart home technology--especially in terms of resale value.

Real estate has and will likely always be one of the best investment options for anyone that want to protect their wealth. With that in mind, the values of the properties themselves don’t grow without the proper add-ons as time passes by, and the recent survey done by ERARE and HGTV is proving just that.

Among some of the answers homeowners as well as potential buyers got from the surveys were:

  • What are new the new generations of home buyers looking for?
  • What type of additions and new technology should a property possess to make it more appealing to home buyers?
  • How has the Internet of Things changed people’s perspective on property management?
As the report shows, buyers are looking to purchase homes with smart technology pre-installed. This can only mean one thing: Sellers must meet the demand. The technology doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Rather, buyers are looking for some of the practical necessities that will help drive efficiency and comfort. Things such as automated climate control, energy management and remote monitoring should all be on the top of every homeowner’s priority list if they’re looking to put their homes on the market.

According to the survey, 7 in 10 millennials want homes that are equipped with technologies that will allow them to use their smartphones to remotely control various functions and features within the home.

Well, one would think that it’s only common sense to cater to millennials if they’re the ones that are in the market to buy homes, but the reality is everyone has a bit of techno-geek in them. Baby boomers, for instance, are looking to beef up their levels of security, which means sellers must add some sort of smart security system to the homes to make them appealing.

Smart home technology may have been considered just a trend in the past, but now--more so than ever--the trend has evolved into a demand that makes it a necessity for anyone who is buying or selling a home.

Control4 - The Ultimate Home Automation Hub

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For a lot of homeowners, the next big home improvement project to tackle is home automation, but the process can be extremely daunting if they don’t even know where to begin. Like every thought process, a smart home project requires a core, or a hub, that is versatile enough to maintain and integrate new smart home features as they pop up. Control4 does just that, and more.

Whether you’re trying to implement a state of the art home entertainment or add smart integrated lighting, the Control4 hub offers the flexibility required integrate any current and future smart home products. While your smartphone is technically a capable hub, it was not designed specifically to handle home automation.

Technically speaking, you can use your smartphone to control just about any smart home functionality. However, a major drawback to this idea is that each functionality requires its own app, which often leads to confusion and a smartphone bloated with apps. Control4 solves this by letting homeowners connect all their functionalities to a single hub that lets you use your smartphone to control all features from a single user interface.

You may argue that there will be a single smartphone app that can control all smart home functions without a hub. However, the flaw in this perspective is that it doesn’t take into consideration that the mobile operating system (OS) is extremely fragmented. Essentially, what this means is that hardware vendors don’t want to put in the time and effort to optimize and update their software once it’s off the shelf. This in turn causes mayhem for developers who want to create apps that provide seamless user experiences across all platforms. Moreover, every smart home product makers have their own set of guidelines on how an app interacts with the product. If you put two and two together, you’ll see that using a smartphone as a hub becomes an un-navigable web for developers and homeowners alike.

So wouldn’t it just be easier for there to be a versatile hub that uses your smartphone as an extension to control your smarthome functionalities? The Control4 team dedicate themselves to constantly improving and tweaking their hub to meet the demands of their customers. Don’t pull out your hair over something as simple as a hub, because Control4 has developed an affordable, reliable, secure industry-leading core for all your home automation needs.

Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation

Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation by Digital Smart Homes from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Complete Home Control, Control4 Home Automation system by Digital Smart Homes in West Vancouver.

This completely renovated home was originally built in 1973. It has transformed beautifully into a modern contemporary home. All the technology (including Amplifiers, Cable Boxes, Controllers and more) are completely hidden away from site and placed into centrally located media rack. Lighting, Media, Audio, Video, Security, HVAC and more are intuitively controlled by keypads and 3 built in touch screens throughout the house. The home owners iPad and iPhones also allow for complete control over the entire home and provides for remote access from anywhere in the world. All this keeps the walls clutter free and gives the home a very clean and user friendly feel.

The Smarthome is not the Deathstar

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A Control4 smart-home, in truth, doesn’t have to look like the Death Star from the sci-fi series Star Wars. In fact, any well-wired home is capable of becoming a smart-home. This means that anything from a suburban home to your downtown loft is ready to be transformed with technologies that are readily available at Digital Smart Homes.

Right as you walk into most typical retailers, you will find flat screen televisions flashing left and right. It was only a few years ago that this same technology came in bulky packages—that is the bezel was extremely wide, and the rear encasement took up quite a bit of space.

However, TV manufacturers have greatly improved the designs of these sets, and these days most flat screen LCD/LED TVs have almost no bezel and takes up much less space, which is a welcoming thing when it comes to designing an aesthetically pleasing home. The last thing you want is a bunch of technology is a bulky cabinet underneath that very thin TV.

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Smart home technology doesn’t all need to have a flashing screen or blinking lights. Often, smart-home shoppers will overlook things like window/blinds automation. Motorized shades and window coverings can add tremendous value to a home. This technology has been around for quite some time, so finding the right design is never the problem.

Additionally, the smartphone and tablets you’re using everyday are very capable machines, and they can be used as a hub for controlling various lightings and appliances. Some simple upgrades of the switches around the home can give you an incredible amount of automations.

As you gradually chip away at some of the outdated and unappealing aspects of your home, you will find that your home looks nothing like that Death Star but it does provide you with the beauty and comfort that you desire. Visit our Vancouver showroom for a demo on how a Control4 smart home (home automation system) can simplify technology throughout the home and hide electronics from view.

Planning for your First Home Automation

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So you’re thinking about home automation but don’t know where to begin. First off, let’s go over what home automation is and how it can benefit you. Home automation is merely the process of interlinking different electronic components of your home to an single intuitive operating system so that you can monitor and carry out various tasks at home or while being someplace else.

Before TV remotes were available, people had to actually get up to change the channel (and bang on the box while they’re at it). Nowadays, if you do get off the couch, it’s because you want to grab something from the fridge. Simply put, home automation is like having a TV remote that can access just about any type of component or components of your home from one interface.

Modern-day home automation technology leverages the Internet, and if you’re reading this blog it means you have access to some form of Internet. Put two and two together you’ll see that the home network is one of the key components of home automation today.

Home automation technologies come in a broad range of packages, so if you’re thinking about setting up your home with some of these technologies it will take some planning.
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Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself are:
  • Do I entertain a lot?
  • Do I travel often or spend a lot of time away from my home?
  • Which areas of the home do I want to focus on automating?
  • What do I want to control? (Home theatre/entertainment, Whole house audio, Lighting, Comfort (heating and cooling), Security and monitoring and Communication)
  • What’s my estimated budget?
Above are just a few questions you need to ask yourself during the planning process. For instance, do you want to set up a yard sprinkler system that you can remotely control from your smartphone? If that’s the case, you might need to hire a contractor to install a sprinkler system, and then a home automation firm like ours (Digital Smart Homes) to program and connect your sprinkler control system to your phone.

The task of implementing home automation might seem daunting at first, but with the right amount of research and planning anything is possible. Best of all, silicon-based technology and network infrastructures have grown as such an astonishing pace that the price of home automation is much more affordable now than it was in the past. Take a few moments to explore the possibilities by watching this short 2 minute
video or by visiting our fully automated smart home showroom in Vancouver.

OS 2.6 Now Available–Delivering The New Control4 Experience

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Control4 rolls out OS 2.6, featuring new UI enhancements that elevate the Listen, Comfort and Security experiences, stunning consistency across all user interfaces, and time-saving tools for our technicians to deliver programming efficiency. Control4® OS 2.6 will be pre-loaded on all new controllers moving forward.
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ICS-ONE irrigation controller by Brilliant Integrated Technologies now available

ICS-ONE-Water_irigation
A brilliant approach to watering the lawn. The ICS-ONE™ is a fully automatic, weather-based smart irrigation controller designed for residential and commercial applications that integrates with Control4. The ICS-ONE is unique in that it communicates nightly with a central server to receive water-saving commands, and then executes those commands in accordance with the customer’s preferred watering schedule. The central server determines the optimal watering time for each of the customer’s irrigation zones based on actual recent weather and its effects on the specific foliage, soil type and solar loading for that zone.

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Discussing Home Automation Concerns

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For the past decade, smart home technology has been viewed as something that only the incredibly wealthy, or incredibly technologically aware, possess. High prices, complicated installations, and intricate technology have contributed to the belief that a completely automated home was something reserved for movie superhero alter-egos of the Clark Kent variety, and millionaires. Recently, however, the rapid proliferation of mobile internet and smartphones, along with an increasing number of companies choosing to invest in more user intuitive home automation products, has made the idea of a “smart home” more attainable than ever.
So if a system is more affordable, and easily connects to products many homeowners already have, why isn’t everyone opting for a more intelligent, wireless home? We turned to social media to find the answers, and what we found, using data from
Viral Heat, was that while over 50% of Twitter users discussing home automation were entirely positive about the idea, around 25% still had concerns regarding home automation systems. The top concerns are discussed below:
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Interior Designers and Home Builders Increasingly Rely on Technology Integrators

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The world of interior design and home building have entered an entirely new phase last year and will continue in 2014 and beyond. Not too long ago, it used to be that technology integrators would seek out partnerships with interior designers and builders to drum up additional business.

This trend has seen a massive shift, as home automation has become a necessity for most families (of most socioeconomic levels) rather than an overly expensive luxury. According to Yahoo! Finance, homeowners increasingly understand that home automation can add 10 percent and more to their property values, while being quite cost-effective.

Rather than coming with a price tag of $75,000 to $100,000+ (the common cost of home automation systems in the recent past), it is possible to spend a fraction of that amount for a full-blown solution that can link together everything from home security, environment/temperature control, home entertainment, and lighting to a Control4 system

Because of the demand, we are continually approached by interior designers and builders to install and program cutting-edge systems sure to make homeowners thrilled.
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Smart Homes Market Worth $51.77 Billion by 2020

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"Smart Homes Market - by Products (Security, Access, Lighting, Entertainment, Energy Management Systems, HVAC, and Ballast & Battery Pack), Services (Installation & Repair, Renovation & Customization) and Geography - Analysis & Forecast (2013 - 2020)'’, published by Markets and Markets, the total market for the Global Smart Homes Market will be worth $51.77 billion by 2020 at an estimated CAGR of 17.74%.

Read the full story
here

Introducing Control4 OS 2.4

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Control4 OS 2.4 adds to a growing list of system features designed to enhanced user experience and customer satisfaction. Here’s a list of what’s new:


Expanded Listening Experience with TuneIn
TuneIn gives your customers the ability to access and enjoy a collection of global streaming radio stations, podcasts, music, sports and news through their Control4 systems.

Enhanced 4Sight with Anywhere Access Mobile
The new and improved 4Sight service now delivers Anywhere Access to a Control4 system from a smart phone or tablet over a 3G/4G or remote WiFi connection.

Remote Recharging Station
The new Remote Recharging Station keeps SR-150 and SR-250 System Remote Controls fully charged and ready for control.

Read More...

7 Reasons Why Home Automation is Made FOR the Technically Challenged

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As home automation specialists working to educate the public on the benefits of new technologies, we are often told, “I am too technically challenged to use a home automation system.” To be honest, we love to reveal why this statement is one of the biggest myths of the 21st century.
The truth is that home automation systems have the power to simplify everything within your home and life. For example, homeowners often struggle with technologies that don’t work together. They hate the numerous remote controls cluttering coffee tables, and the wires tangled throughout rooms, but they don't know they have any other options. Today’s home automation technologies eliminate the confusion. Completely.

In fact, home automation is made especially for the technologically frustrated. Here are a handful of reasons why:

1. Home automation systems, such as Control4, give homeowners the power to fuse together their entertainment, lighting, temperature control, and security into a single console. One way to manage everything, not lots of ways to manage lots of things.

2. A home automation system can be controlled via a remote and/or with home computers, iPads, iPhones, and smart phones. It can’t get any easier.

3. Picture this. The kids are playing their PS3 in the theater room and Mom and Dad want to start family movie night. Without changing sources or input cables, and with just one remote control, the room can be primed for movie watching by a simple press of a button. The lighting dims, the shades close, and the TV powers on via Control4.

4. Perhaps Mom and Dad are listening to their favorite Jazz station on Rhapsody in the kitchen as they cook. The children are in their respective rooms listening to their own choices of music. Mom presses the “DINNER” button on the Control4 keypad next to the stove and it automatically shuts off the music in their rooms and announces dinner time.

5. The technically challenged can even be at ease while on the road. Let’s assume you take a trip to Paris and leave your home in the care of a house sitter. You don’t have to fret about unlocked doors, the garage door being left open, lights being left on, and more. All you need is your iPad to see which doors are locked or unlocked, which lights need to be turned off or on, and whether or not you need to shut the garage door. You have the power to control them all via a touch screen.

6. Another convenience that home automation provides is the ability to remotely access and adjust your temperature settings. Most people don’t use the programming options on their thermostats, whether because it takes too long or their heating and cooling habits are inconsistent. Home automation provides you the ability to log in from your mobile device or PC and change the temperature to your desired setting. This is especially important while on vacation. Setting your home temperature back to a comfortable setting right from the airport allows you to come home to a comfortable, warm house.

7. One of the biggest concerns for the technically challenged is system setup and maintenance. This makes our team smile for a couple of reasons. Because each household has its own unique needs, we help to customize individualized solutions to meet those needs, and we ensure that all technologies are installed and working properly. If for any reason there is a problem, we are a phone call away and can fix most issues remotely.

In short, home automation systems are a complete relief for the technologically challenged. We dare you to visit a showroom for a demo and see for yourself!

Modern, Contemporary Control4 Smart Home with Lutron RadioRa2

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This is one of my favourite homes and most of all, one of my favourite clients that Digital Smart Homes has had the pleasure to work with. This modern contemporary Vancouver home features a Control4 Home Control and Automation system that is integrated with Lutron's RadioRa2 smart lighting system. All equipment, including all Video sources, Wirepath CCTV, Media and more are all located together into two racks freeing up space at all the TV locations so that only a flat screen is visible and no other electronics. Control4 allows for easy access to any video source, audio device from anywhere in the home from an iPad, touch screens, keypads, computers, and smart phones.

Visit our Vancouver showroom to learn and experience what Control4 and Home Automation and Control can do for you. Contact Us

Control4 and Savant: A Simple Home Automation System Comparison

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THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY - Harry Saini

In your effort to create a comfortable and secure home, it is essential to find the ideal home automation solution to meet your unique needs. Two of the most popular and robust systems are Control4 and Savant. Without a doubt, both systems offer a plethora of options for revolutionizing your home – yet there are inherent differences between them that we will attempt to outline.

Beginning with Savant, the system has the ability to intelligently light your home, deck out your media room, improve your audio set up, and seamlessly control climate. The system is run by a dedicated Mac server that connects the various appliances within the home for ease of use and offers lightning-fast processes.

On the other hand, Control4 is a powerful system that is intelligently priced with value as a focus vs. high-end luxury pricing with Savant. Control4 allows for you to control everything from lighting, to your home theatre and audio, to home climate.

Plus, the technology interfaces nicely with security and keyless door entry systems. When all is taken into consideration, the home automation industry at large considers Control4 the best value for a home automation system on the market, while Savant is luxurious first choice for Apple fanatics.

The following is a breakdown of the main differences between the two systems:

  • Control4 is considerably more cost-effective than Savant.

  • Savant is Mac-based and Apple reliant, while Control4 builds their product independently and is compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Computers supporting Adobe Air (both Apple and Microsoft).

  • Control4 offers a wide variety of native interfaces from standard remotes, keypads, and in-wall touch panels. Savant works with a handheld remote and/or iPad touch screen.

  • Savant supports iTunes. Control4 supports iTunes as well and can also pulls media via a robust database service to play MP3s, Apple audio and miscellaneous digital formats.

  • Savant offers completely customizable graphics and requires a custom program for almost every installation. Control4 has developed a simplified user interface which assists in saving on programming time.

  • Control4 is extremely easy to program and offers direct integration with several vendors in the AV/Security/Automation industry.

  • Savant offers lighting solutions through Light Touch, a company they purchased while Control4 has consistently developed their own lighting and many more products to fill the majority of your integration needs.

While both Savant and Control4 offer virtually an unlimited number of options, we at Digital Smart Homes are of the opinion that Control4 offers the perfect blend of cost-effectiveness, intuitive controls, speed and versatility. Plus, rather than relying on a Mac-only platform, it is possible to utilize the system on a number of devices. Of course, if you are an Apple enthusiast seeking a posh solution to your home automation needs, Savant may do the trick.

When considering the purchase of either a Control4 or Savant system, the secret to your success is outlining your exact needs and making a functionality wish list. It is then possible to select the solution that transforms your home into a more secure and functional environment.


Digital Smart Homes offers Control4 Home Automation Starter Kit for under $1000

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We are excited to announce Control4’s Home Automation Starter Kit promotion. The kit enables smart-home control in a single room with the ability to expand to a complete home system. The package enables homeowners to experience the benefits of automation for under $1,000. The Starter Kit includes the new Control4 HC-250 Controller, the brains of the system, plus a Control4 SR-250 remote, which can control all the devices in your entertainment system, plus can control movies and music, lighting, and more. Read More...

Control4's Commitment to Driving Interoperability

Control4 leads the industry in device discovery and interoperability and with OS 2.3 new tools have been added to simplify installation and programming for dealers. The new Control4® Driver Editor enables dealers and developers to create and test new drivers without requiring a full, onsite Control4 system up and running, making it much easier and more efficient to quickly design and develop drivers for third-party products.

OS 2.3 also includes support for Control4® Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP), a groundbreaking new capability which will automatically identify and load the correct driver for Control4 devices, as well as an expanding roster of third-party devices. SDDP compatible devices will be automatically identified and configure themselves within Control4 installations and will remain connected with the Control4 system regardless of IP address changes.
"One of the unique capabilities and benefits Control4 introduced to the industry was the ability to easily and uniquely identify Control4 devices during a system installation by simply pressing a button on any Control4 device. Now, we are extending those benefits and simplicity to 3rd party products by providing them with open access to our SDDP software technology so they can embed it within their products to enable device discovery, model identification, and proper software driver association during Control4 installations - saving time and reducing the potential for errors" said Plaehn.

Control4 OS 2.3 will be available in Q4 2012.

New Control4 Device - Relay & Contact Sensor

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Axxess’s Relay & Contact Sensor shares the same form as the Multi Function Repeater. It also includes all the same functions (repeater, 3 contact sensor inputs, temperature sensor) with the addition of 3 Relay outputs. This allows you to wirelessly trigger motors to open/close garage doors and gates, raise/lower blinds or projector screens, and control many other devices that can be activated by relay output.
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The era of hands-free home control has arrived!

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HouseLogix is launching VoicePod®, a groundbreaking new device designed to speech-enable any home. Incorporating both speech recognition and speech output in a single wireless device, VoicePod is positioned as an exciting alternative to traditional keypads, remotes and touchpanels.

Each VoicePod provides both lightning-fast speech recognition and speech synthesis within a small tabletop unit that wirelessly communicates using Zigbee®. VoicePod’s patent-pending technology offers totally hands free control in any room. Users simply speak a wakeup phrase, such as “Hello VoicePod” and the unit comes to life. VoicePod’s dual processors instantly recognize and respond to commands such as “watch TV”, “make the lights bright”, “lower the temperature” and “lock the doors”. Users can also ask questions such as “what is the house status” and receive spoken responses from their homes.
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Control4 and Sony Introduce New ES Receivers with Control4 Automation Built-In

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Together Control4 and Sony launch the world’s first AV receivers with built-in home automation.
Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo Booth 4949 – September 5, 2012 at 5:00PM ET – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, announced that Sony has integrated Control4® automation technology into its new ES receivers (introduced at CEDIA Expo) – delivering best-in-class AV performance and home automation within one easy-to-install and easy-to-use product. The ES receivers with Control4 automation are available for order now through authorized Control4 and Sony ES dealers.

This is a powerful partnership redefining the AVR category by delivering an unprecedented integrated AV and automation experience in a single device. Consumers will enjoy top AVR performance, unmatched 4K content and a stunning selection of streaming media services, plus the added lifestyle benefits of personalized automation that can transform a house into a smart home. With companies like Sony embracing and marketing the benefits of home automation, the custom installation industry benefits as a whole. Together, Sony and Control4 have created an exciting new avenue to drive consumer awareness for the category.
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More Women are seeking out Home Technology solutions today than ever before

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At Digital Smart Homes, we are constantly working to better understand our client base. One of the most exciting trends that we are seeing is women increasingly seeking out digital technologies, often much more than men. There are a number of reasons as to why this is occurring.

To begin with, digital home technologies have the power to secure home and family. For instance, systems and outdoor lighting sensors can assure that lights go on at the proper time and that pathways are always lit. This not only protects homes from predators, but they greatly decrease the chance of personal injury.

Additionally, iPhone, Smartphone, and iPad apps can align with the latest technologies to indicate whether door locks are unlocked and/or the garage door is open. No matter where in the world a one is, she can close the garage door and/or lock doors. By having the power to assure the security of the home, it is possible to have peace of mind when traveling out of town or returning home.

Secondly, digital technologies can ease the frustrations of controlling numerous home media devices. There are few challenges that frustrate busy individuals more than hard to control/confusing media devices. Digital media technology offers universal remote controls that can control everything from the TV, to the wireless music system, and everything else in between. It is also possible to program a TV to turn off after a predetermined amount of time to assure kids are staying focused on their studies.

Thirdly, appliance control and monitoring makes home life much easier. In fact, kitchens will never be the same, as digital make oven monitoring possible at all times. This lessons the likelihood of the oven being left on for hours or the overcooking of a favorite dish. Also, all appliances can be constantly monitored to assure they are running efficiently and not wasting precious electricity.

Finally, home heating and air conditioning control both helps make the home more comfortable and less energy intensive. For example, the heater/furnace can be activated from the comfort of one’s bed via an iPad app and the air conditioner can be programed and coordinated with electronic blinds for effective temperature control throughout the day.

While the above technologies make a defined difference in the lives of both men and women, it appears that our female customer is increasingly becoming the key influencer. When questioned about the problems digital home technologies solve, our customers often point to security, efficiency, and simplicity.

Why do you personally seek out digital home technologies? Please share on our Facebook page!

The Smart Kitchen Revolution and How Control4 is Leading the Way

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We spend hour upon hour in our kitchens working to create masterful meals, socializing with family and friends, completing homework assignments and work projects, and even watching our favourite shows. In all reality, for many the kitchen is the second family room…or maybe even the first for some!

This is why numerous homeowners around the world are working to make their kitchens as “smart” as possible. Many turn to Control4 for their needs, as the system can do everything from set lighting and window shades to activity specific levels; play just the right music to fit the mood; monitor and program appliances; access award winning recipes from a touch screen; and even set the ice-maker to produce more ice when a party is in full swing. Plus, Control 4 offers numerous apps that can be downloaded and used to simplify the home.
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We Don’t Just Sell Products, We Provide a Lifestyle

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At Digital Smart Homes, we are committed to discovering revolutionary products that have the power to transform your home and improve the quality of your daily life. Not only are we committed, we actually love what we do!

Who wouldn’t be excited to let the cat out of the bag when a new gizmo comes to market that allows a homeowner to close his/her garage door while vacationing in Paris or instantaneously unlock a door to let the cat sitter in when away on a business trip? Or better yet, have the means to monitor all home appliances from their iPad and discover exactly how to dramatically cut down the electricity bill.

Not only do we sell groundbreaking products, we truly provide a lifestyle for the bold and courageous. Such a lifestyle is simplified in nature, yet amazingly thrilling!

Where simplicity is concerned, we work to reveal how the latest technologies can help you cut down on energy costs, maximize appliance functionality and effectiveness, eliminate unneeded remote controls, and empower you when you are on the road.

Thrill comes into the picture when you start considering how digital products can create the perfect home theater environment or that wireless music can magnificently pump crystal clear sound through hidden speakers. Additionally, it’s safe to say that it is thrilling to have the power to pull out your iPhone (no matter where you are on the planet) and push a couple buttons to turn your air conditioning on or off, activate the front porch lights, or cut the power on a computer that needs a break.

This lifestyle we sell is truly seamless and makes perfect sense in today’s ultra-hectic world. Plus, it looks amazing! Who couldn’t use a little wire de-cluttering and electronics hiding, while revolutionizing the home? Our customers often grin when their friends and family stand with their mouths open the moment they realize they are standing in a Digital Smart Home.

You don’t have to be an “early adopter” to understand the value of digitizing your home environment. While some of our clients definitely fall into that category, the majority are simply seeking a way to simplify their lives, secure those they love most, and cut down on energy usage (well…and then there are some who always dreamt of living like the Jetson’s…that’s ok too!).If you are currently considering “Digital Smart Homing” your living environment, you are in for a thrilling ride. Dare to dream big and you are sure to find a creative solution that will fit our lifestyle!

Control4 Launches Video Intercom Solutions with New Touch Screens and Door Station

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High-performance In-Wall and Portable Touch Screens with full-motion video intercom and wideband audio deliver dedicated control and crystal clear communications.
Las Vegas, NV– January 10, 2012 at 7:00 AM PT – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, introduces its new video intercom solutions, which include the Control4® 7” Portable Touch Screen with Camera, the Control4® 7” In-Wall Touch Screen with Camera, and the Control4® Door Station.

This new video intercom product family provides dedicated, always-on control functionality along with a convenient high-quality communications experience for homes and businesses. Each new product within the family features an integrated camera delivering H.264 full-motion video along with integrated speakers and dual microphones utilizing beam forming and wideband audio to deliver a high-fidelity experience. With activation of a Control4® Intercom License, consumers can enable whole-home or business communications and message broadcasting, as well as the ability to control auto-answer and “do not disturb” settings.
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Control4 Announces New High-Performance Automation Controllers

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New one-room and whole-home controllers dramatically enhance consumer experiences with fluid on-screen control, blazingly fast media access, and instantaneous responsiveness.
Las Vegas, NV– January 9, 2012 at 9:30 AM PT – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, announces two new models to its award-winning family of automation controllers: the flagship HC-800 and the versatile HC-250. Designed to harness the power of Control4’s award-winning operating system, the HC-800 and the HC-250 provide the ultimate Control4 experience for speed, performance and flexibility at an exceptional value for homeowners and businesses.

At the center of Control4’s updated line of controllers is the new HC-800, a powerful, flexible, multi-zone controller designed to serve as the cornerstone of any Control4 installation, no matter how large or demanding. The HC-800’s lightning-fast, next-generation 1.8GHz high-performance dual-core processor delivers instantaneous, interactive on-screen control and browsing of even the largest media libraries.
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Control4 MyHome Android App Release

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It’s the app you’ve been waiting for! The Control4® MyHome Android app is now available for download! The Control4® MyHome Android app allows customers to interact with their Control4 systems from the convenience of their Android smartphone or tablet. As with other MyHome apps, customers get the familiar Control4 user interface to control lighting, temperature, music, movies, security and more.
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Homeowners Are Turning to Smart Technology to Streamline Their Lives and Reduce Energy Use

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Article by Amanda Ash, Contributor for eHow

Long gone are the days when we read by candlelight and cooked dinner on a wood-burning stove. And for many North American homes as of 2011, the acts of flipping light switches and manually controlling thermostats are going the way of the dinosaurs.

The Green Revolution, coupled with incredible technological advances, has spawned tech-savvy "smart homes": digitally outfitted dwellings that may be programmed to do just about anything you can think of, except maybe clean your room.

Harry Saini, who owns Digital Smart Homes of Canada and has wired his Vancouver condominium to the hilt, believes that automating your home not only simplifies your life but also reduces energy consumption. Home automation technology is becoming more accessible every day, allowing the average person to transform a home into something straight out of "Star Trek."

"If you were looking at home automation five years ago, you'd easily be looking at 10 times the cost compared to now," Saini said. "And the number of dealers and retailers that are able to support that technology compared to five, six years ago has doubled---tripled, even.

"People used to think home automation is for lazy people, but that's not what it is. Essentially, everything talks to one another. Your lights talk to your stereo. Your alarm knows what your garage is doing. All your devices know what's going on."
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What is Home Automation or a Smart Home?

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In today’s ultra-complicated and fast-paced world, home automation and smart home technologies were developed to simplify life! Thanks to revolutionary devices, you can now link and control all of the electronics and systems in your home from a single digital interface.

Digital Smart Homes links together onto one operating platform the following technologies and more:
  • Home theatre systems
  • Multi-room music & video
  • Smart lighting & shades
  • Advanced temperature control
  • Safety and security devices
With a system such as Control4, your life will be forever changed and simplified as you hide away multiple remotes and take advantage of an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed via a single remote, your computer, iPad, iPhone, or other Smartphones.

Transforming your living environment into a “smart home” not only makes life more manageable, it makes it more secure. For instance, let’s say that you head out of town for a weekend trip and you realize a few hours out of town that you forgot to arm the security system and program the porch lights to illuminate at dusk. All you have to do is pull out your iPhone, bring up the Control4 interface, and push a few buttons to secure your alarm & program your lights.

Is Home Automation Scalable? As you revolutionize and grow your home technologies, you may be wondering if home automation is scalable. This is actually the beauty of a system like Control4. You can begin with one or two technologies and then scale out to meet additional needs. For example, if you have an amazing home theatre setup and a security system, you can begin there and then add to your setup as time progresses.

What’s in a Smart Home Console?
This is where the fun begins! Just to give you an idea, here are some of the things that Control4 can accomplish:

  • Control your home theatre
  • Dim the lights as the opening credits roll
  • Turn off all your TVs when your kids should be studying
  • Alert you when the garage door is open…and then close it
  • Manage your lights, window coverings, and thermostats
  • Monitor your locks, lighting, and security cameras
  • Allow you to play music in any room of the house
The sky is the limit! Your home can now be easily managed, and finally you don’t have to constantly provide lengthy instructions on how all of your devices work!

Visit our fully featured hi-tech showroom in Vancouver at 1385 West 6th Avenue.

Yale's First Locks Designed to Integrate Seamlessly Into the Digital Home Now Available

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Designed to Interface With Control4 Home Control Systems, Giving Homeowners a New Level of Security and Convenience
Yale Locks & Hardware (www.yalelocks.com), an ASSA ABLOY Group company and a world leader in door hardware for residential and commercial applications, announces the availability of the company's first lock specifically designed to integrate seamlessly into the digital home.

These new deadbolt locks are the first products in the Yale Real Living™ portfolio of home control and home security solutions. Available with either a sleek touchscreen or pushbutton keypad, Yale's new platform of intelligent locks are designed to operate with a Control4® system, the premier integration platform for today’s digital home. Through the Control4 system, the homeowner can directly access and control all of the lock’s unique features, including activating personalized events or scenes with the push of a button from anywhere in the home or even remotely via the Internet.
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Control4 Panelized Lighting—powerful lighting control for home and business

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Home and business owners can direct complex lighting events from elegant user interfaces while the system is centralized “behind the scenes”
Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo 2011 – September 8-10, 2011 – Booth #2302 – Control4, a leader in IP-based home control systems, today announced the new Control4® Panelized Lighting Solution. Panelized lighting systems enable complete control over whole-home and commercial lighting systems using sophisticated keypad and touch screen interfaces, rather than a collection of light switches on every wall.

The Control4 Panelized Lighting Solution is Ethernet-based, providing simple and robust communications from the home controller or Control4 Touch Screen to the light. The Control4 Panelized Lighting Solution is also one of the first centralized lighting systems to offer energy monitoring capability for each load, which allows energy management applications to monitor and control individual lights. This empowers high-end customers to enjoy the privileges of whole-home lighting control while still being energy conscious.

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Control4 Announces New Addition: MyHome App for Android

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Unveiled at CEDIA EXPO 2011, the new app provides whole home control from today’s popular Android devices.
Indianapolis, IN – CEDIA Expo 2011 – September 8, 2011, 8:00 AM ET – Booth #2302 – Control4, a leader in affordable IP-based home control systems, announces their new Control4® MyHome - Android™ app for Android-enabled mobile devices. Developed by Clever Controls for Control4® systems, the app is currently in beta testing with select Control4 dealers and release is currently slated for Q4.

The Control4® MyHome family of software apps allows homeowners to access and control lighting, temperature, security, music, movies, and so much more from a wide range of devices in a Control4 enabled home. The new MyHome - Android app is a robust solution that will allow homeowners to access, manage and control their Control4 system from their Android-based devices built on Android OS 1.6 or higher.

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Cool Motion Sensor Ideas for Control4

Check out this CardAccess video for some cool motion sensor ideas to go from centralized control to true home automation.

The Dream of Widespread Smart Houses is Becoming a Reality

by Kim Robertson of MAC Marketing Solutions

Perhaps you’re stuck in a snowstorm, yearning for a long soak in the bath the second you get home. Maybe you’re travelling abroad, and would love to check in on your home and personal belongs (since you left the teenagers home alone). Or, you need to schedule a virtual at-home doctor’s appointment and health statistics update. Read More...

What is Smart Home Control? Control4 Automation Systems Explained

What is home control and why the buzz?

Home control is pretty simple. It's taking the technology that already exists in the home and making it work simply and easily for the people who have to live with that technology, which is you the homeowner. Let's face it life has become complex. We bring this electronic gadgetry into our homes with the hope of enhancing our lifestyle and what it leads to is frustration. You're sitting there with the goal of watching a movie, you've got 5 remotes now sitting in front of you and now you have to figure out which sequence of events you need to do in order to just watch a simple movie.
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Complete Control! - Control4 Review by 'Home Theater Magazine'

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Download the story
Check out "Home Theater Magazine's" two part piece on Control4

Control4 Software Release Announcement - OS 2.1

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Control4 is pleased to announce that OS 2.1 is available for immediate download. This release improves the quality of the operating system. OS 2.1 includes enhancements to most areas of the system and user interface, brings back important features and capabilities, and provides significant new diagnostic and support features to make it easier to support clients without doing a truck roll.

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Control4 Home Automation System Demo of Smart Home Technology



Join us on a tour of a Control4 home automation system in McKinney, Texas. Control4 dealer Byron Baird of Diem Digital Interiors & homeowner Jeff Layn provide a home automation demo of Jeff's townhouse located on a golf resort called Craig Ranch.

Jeff's smart home technology controls multiple zones of audio, multiple televisions with DVRs for every family member, fireplaces, ceiling fans, thermostats, & IP cameras. He started small and has been adding on to the system over time.

What's great about this Dallas palace are the endless custom touches. When Jeff arrives home and opens the garage door, his home control system turns on the lights & the television turns on to his favourite channel (ESPN).

Jeff also has a personalized microchip key chain that has his personal settings programmed into it. He waves it over the 'wand' behind the door which then brings up his personal settings of how he wants to live his life when he comes in the house.

Want this for your home? Contact us for a personalized quote.

What is the Control4 MyHome app for iPad?



Enjoy control from your favorite devices. Now you can control your lights, temperature, music, movies, energy, security, and more from your iPhone, iPad, tablet or laptop. With the Control4® MyHome app, you can now turn your favorite screen into your favorite control system.

Want to enjoy Control4 MyHome App in the comfort of your home?

It's easy!
  • You must have a Control4 system to use MyHome. If you don't, just contact us here
  • If you already have a Control4 system, just download the free app for the device(s) you'd like to enable.
  • Contact us to get the license to activate your app and start controlling your home, your life, your world!

Control4 Partners With Sub-Zero and Wolf

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Control4 can now connect to Sub-Zero and Wolf high-end kitchen appliances for convenience, energy savings and the perfect meal every time.
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Control4 Announces Kwikset SmartCode, ZigBee Deadbolt Locks in a New Contemporary Style.

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The Kwikset SmartCode, ZigBee Deadbolt Locks add enhanced security and convenience to any Control4 system.Designed with a sleek contemporary style to complement home interiors and exteriors, these locks make it easy to secure entry doors and never again have to worry about carrying a key. View the status and lock or unlock the lock from any room in the home from any Control4 interface, or monitor and control the locks remotely through Web Navigator. ZigBee Pro provides 128-bit encryption for secure communication within the Control4 system. Read More...

Card Access™ Ceiling-Mount Wireless Motion Sensor

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Card Access is pleased to announce the new Ceiling-Mount Wireless Motion Sensor. Using the same Control4 driver and providing all of the same functionality as our wall-mount Wireless Motion Sensor, the Ceiling-Mount Wireless Motion Sensor allows for convenient ceiling mount applications. This new product is a great way to add occupancy sensing capabilities to any room. We offer two versions of the Ceiling-Mount Wireless Motion Sensor: battery-powered and line-powered (9-24v AC/DC)
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New Control4 "MyHome" Extends Control Wherever You Want It

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Software apps extend Control4 functionality to virtually every screen in the home.

Las Vegas, NV – CES 2011 – January 6-9, 2011 – LVCC South 21407 – Control4, a leader in affordable IP-based home control systems, today introduces Control4® MyHome, a family of software apps that allows consumers to access and control lighting, temperature, music, movies, energy, security and more from a wide range of devices in Control4® enabled homes. Consumers need only purchase a Control4 MyHome license and download the application to their iPhone®, iPad®, PC or Mac® laptop, desktop computer, or tablet to enjoy all the features of their Control4 system.

“Consumers expect choice and convenience, so by offering our customers the ability to access and control their home automation system from nearly any screen in the house, we make it easier for them to integrate Control4 into their everyday lives,” said Control4 CEO Will West. “Now, whether you turn on your TV, pull out your phone, turn to a touch screen in the kitchen, or power on your laptop in the office, you’ll always be in control of your connected home.”
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Control4 InfinityEdge 5" In-Wall Touch Screen

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Announcing affordable total system control in a sleek 5" in-wall design!
Edge-to-edge capacitive glass combined with the elegant Control4 user interface reveals the most visually stunning Control4 touch screen to date. With new optional intercom capability, a choice of AC power or Power Over Ethernet, wired or WiFi connectivity options, and four programmable buttons for customized commands, this flexible solution is perfect for every room in the house. Read More...

Lutron: Dominating Eco-Lighting Control



According to Lutron, lighting can account for up to 20 percent of a household’s yearly electricity usage, and up to 40 percent a year commercially.

Its a fact that all dimmers save energy and that’s just the beginning of “green” lighting design. Lutron has also developed an extensive collection of eco-friendly light controls, systems and window solutions for any project, big or small. We guarantee at least a 15% cost savings in the first year! Read More...

Control4 2.0 is Here!


We are excited to to announce the release of Control4® OS 2.0. This next-generation OS offers new home-control functionality, updated SDKs, support for additional hardware products, integration of third-party applications, and improved media management. Featuring an elegant Flash-based user interface, Control4® OS 2.0 will provide Control4 integrators with the most powerful Control4® solution to date. Read More...

Control4 My Home app for iPad


Control4, a leader in affordable IP-based home control systems, announced today the Control4® My Home application for iPad, which was developed in collaboration with Control UI. In a Control4®-enabled smart home, users will be able to access lighting, temperature, music, video, security systems, web cameras and more from an Apple iPad. Available now on the iTunes App Store, the Control4 My Home app has been selected as an Apple staff favourite for iPad apps.

Control4 provides home automation through an extensible operating system that integrates energy using devices and systems in the home, including, audio and video equipment, lighting systems, motorized shades, and security systems. With the new, specially designed Control4 My Home app for iPad, homeowners can use their iPad as an interface to their Control4® system to create personalized experiences such as custom lighting scenes; to conveniently control entertainment systems; or to take advantage of energy savings with programmable thermostats and other ‘green’ settings. Later in the year, homeowners will be able to use Control4 My Home in conjunction with a Control4® 4Sight remote monitoring subscription to turn lights on and off, lock or unlock doors, or access IP video cameras and security systems from the Internet, providing increased home security and peace of mind.

“Consumers want the devices in their home to be integrated and easy to use. The Control4® Operating System is designed to do just that. Many of our customers use touch screens to access their Control4 system and the iPad is a great platform that meets the needs of many homeowners for exactly this task.” said Will West, Chief Executive Officer of Control4. “We think the iPad is an important platform for homeowners looking for a smarter home and believe that when combined with Control4 My Home we will continue to push forward the mainstream adoption of affordable home control technologies that make our lives easier.”

Control4 homeowners can immediately download Control4 My Home for iPad here and authenticate to their Control4 system with a Mobile Navigator license which you can obtain from us at Digital Smart Homes.
For more information on Control4 feel free to contact us or click here

Control4 iPad Screen Shots